6 places to find motivation when you're feeling lost or down

Are you struggling to turn off Netflix?

Is your couch more inviting than that pile of working sitting on your desk? 

6 places to find motivation when you're feeling lost or down

Or maybe you hit the snooze button repeatedly today because work just made you feel meh?

Well, you're not alone.

Speaking from experience, I spent the entire month of November 2014 on my couch with a breakup-induced depression that left me with zero motivation to work on my brand new (full-time) business.

Even the most successful business owners have these moments of low self-motivation.

What sets them apart from everyone else is their ability to shake it off while others struggle to press on.

If your motivation fuel is at an all-time low, here are some of my favorite ways to recharge the batteries and start looking forward again to tackling your business goals.

1. A Totally New Environment ๐ŸŒ

Routine is a double-edged sword.

While it does wonders for productivity and discipline, it can also have the opposite effect and send you down into a spiral of boredom.

Whether you're at home, a co-working space or in an office building - you need to shake things up. Nothing kills motivation and creativity faster than staring at the same four walls every single day.

It can be as simple as:

  • going for a walk

  • meditating for ten minutes a day

  • ditching your desk for a spot at a new coffee shop

  • or trying out a new fitness class at the gym.

Getting out of your usual environment and interacting with new people is a great way to keep your inspiration spark alive and motivate you to achieve your business goals.

Recently, I worked out of my friends' apartment in Brooklyn, New York for a week.

(If that wasn't an option, I would have rented an Airbnb.)

When I place myself in new environments like I did in NYC, I find that new ideas and new connections come at me faster than ever.

In New York, I met with Teachable (the platform I used to host my courses), as well as a handful of people from Instagram during an impromptu meet-up.

I put the call out in my Instagram Stories and feed โ€“ and people showed up to hang out!

elise teachable

It blew my mind but also allowed me to get to know my followers face-to-face, IRL.

Had I not left my home office in Toronto, these connections would have never happened.

2. A Totally New Experience ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธ

Open up your schedule for the month and block out an hour each week to try something new.

  • Always dreamed of learning how to play the guitar? Get onto Craigslist and sign up for a lesson.

  • Want to step up your photography game? Browse Skillshare's thousands of online classes and start taking better photos.

  • Or maybe you're curious about that new rock climbing gym that's opened downtown? Grab a friend or go by yourself and have some fun trying out a new sport.

The next day, use this experience as motivation.

  CHUM FM intern, circa 2011

CHUM FM intern, circa 2011

As a business owner, you have the freedom to mould your schedule around what you want to do.

Remember that feeling.

Years ago, I worked as an intern at Canada's #1 morning radio show on CHUM FM.

One morning, they put me on air to ask for my "young intern" perspective on a topic.

When the "ON AIR" light went on, I got SO NERVOUS. My heart jumped up into my throat and I could barely squeak out any words.

The moment was absolutely eye-opening.

I was studying broadcast journalism at the time โ€“โ€“ so why was I getting so nervous when the spotlight was on me!?

To make sure that this would never happen again (ha, a girl can dream), I decided to enrol myself in improv classes run by Second City.

Fast-forward to a year later and I took ALL their improv classes available, leading to a grand finale performance on the main stage.

  Can you spot me in the leopard print?

Can you spot me in the leopard print?

Today, I use the lessons I learned in improv in my business everyday: in how I respond to people in conversations, go live on social media or tap into my "inner character" when I just don't feel like putting myself fully out there.

3. Mantras ๐Ÿ’ฌ

How you speak to yourself can have a massive impact on your motivation levels.

Take a look at your inner dialogue and make an effort to include more positive language into your daily vocabulary.

Affirmations or mantras have been a massive game changer for me because they are great pattern interrupters.

Ever caught yourself dwelling on how you can't be successful or you don't have enough experience to start your own business?

These are negative thought patterns that lead to more frustration, negativity and demotivation. By using a positive affirmation when you're not feeling great about yourself, you'll break this cycle and start turning things around.

The best part? Mantras won't cost you a single cent.

Here are some of my favourites:

> MY FACE IS MY FORTUNE

Donโ€™t hide yourself from the world. Your success as a business owner will skyrocket when you arenโ€™t afraid to be who you are.

> I SERVE, I DESERVE

If you feel guilty about all the people you canโ€™t help, use this affirmation to remind yourself that youโ€™re allowed to receive abundance in return for the good you put out in the world.

> THIS IS WHAT A WEALTHY WOMAN (OR MAN) LOOKS LIKE

Use this mantra to challenge your beliefs about your ability to be a wealthy woman (or man).

4. "Nice Stuff" Folder ๐ŸŒธ

Something I also like to do on a day-to-day basis is collect the nice messages that I get into a little folder on my desktop. (Coincidentally, this folder is called "Nice Stuff.") 

Whenever I get a nice message that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, I screenshot the message and drag it into the folder. 

When you're feeling down, it's easy to spiral, focus on the negatives, and forget any of the good things that have ever happened to you. 

This folder gives me perspective on the big picture - on the times where I did a great job and where others were proud of me. 

I love to collect things like:

  • Client testimonials

  • Linkedin reviews

  • References

  • Nice emails + messages from friends/family

Here are some of the messages that still make me giddy: 

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 2.46.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 5.25.42 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 4.02.40 PM.png
elise testimonial

5. Your Business Network of People Who Get It ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Motivation (and the lack of it) is all in your head.

Sometimes all we need to get back into the trenches is a pep talk from someone who gets it.

  • Sign up for a business mentorship class

  • Watch a TED talk video

  • Listen to a podcast

  • Schedule a coffee date with a fellow entrepreneur

  • Join a Facebook group with people in your industry

We all go through ups and downs as business owners, and taking the time to check in with others who are going through similar experiences sets off a string of a-ha moments.

By reaching out to like-minded people, you can get a different perspective on a problem, and tap into their wealth of knowledge to grow your business.

6. Your Closest Supporters ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ

Life as an entrepreneur is lonely.

  My boyfriend & I in New York recently!

My boyfriend & I in New York recently!

I spend a lot of time in my office with just my headphones, a cup of coffee and my to-do list.

But while being my own boss has its advantages, being alone all the time is a recipe for de-motivation.

Over the years, I've built a support network consisting of my boyfriend, my family, a business coach and close friends to avoid getting into this funk.

Why?

Because a good 'ol venting session helps to expel all that negative energy.

Even if they aren't entrepreneurs or in the same industry, your closest support network is a valuable source of advice, inspiration and motivation.

Need Some Extra Accountability? ๐Ÿ‘‹

Sometimes we know exactly where we need to go, but we need just that little push to get us on the right path and to keep us moving forward.

Make the leap to where you want to go and sign up for my one-on-one business coaching sessions. 

In 3 to 4 months, Mind The Gap will help you turn your idea into a profitable business, and land your first client.

Click the button below to schedule in a FREE call with me. โคต๏ธ

Elise Darma

About the Author:

Elise Darmanin believes that "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." That's why she makes beaches, coffee shops and co-working spaces her office by working remotely while growing Canupy Content. Canupy is a social media and copywriting agency for small to medium-sized businesses. The Canupy team helps brands grow through social media marketing, copywriting and content strategies that inspire audiences and drive sales.